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What is tempering?

October 30, 2023

What is tempering?

Tempering is a heat treatment process usually used to change the mechanical properties and organizational structure of metal alloys. This process involves heating a metal alloy to a certain temperature and then cooling and controlling the temperature in different ways to improve its properties. Tempering is mainly used in the following situations:

1. Reduce hardness: Metal alloys usually undergo a sharp increase in hardness after heat treatment processes such as quenching. By tempering, the hardness can be reduced, making the material easier to work and more tough.

2. Eliminate internal stress: Tempering helps eliminate internal stress introduced by processes such as quenching, thereby improving the stability and durability of metal parts.

3. Improved toughness: Metal alloys generally have better toughness after tempering, especially at low temperatures. This is important for some applications, such as the aerospace and nuclear industries.

4. Improve strength: By controlling the temperature and time of the tempering process, different levels of strength improvement can be achieved. Some alloys can still maintain relatively high strength after tempering.

The key to the tempering process is temperature control and time control. Different metal alloys and applications require different tempering conditions. Typically, the tempering temperature is below the critical temperature of the metal, but high enough to change its properties. Tempering time is usually adjusted based on the desired effect.

Tempering is one of the important processes in metal processing and heat treatment, allowing engineers and manufacturers to tailor the properties of materials to meet specific application requirements. Different types of metal alloys and parts may require different types of tempering processes, so the tempering process needs to be carefully controlled and monitored.

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